This has been the hardest Fandom Friday yet. Music is a huge part of my life – I listen to it, I learn from it, I live it. I honestly believe it’s one of the most important things in the world because it can be beautiful in so many ways, whether that’s the melody, the lyrics, or just the way it makes you feel.
I’ve grown up with music so it has helped shape my life for a long time. So many individual songs inspire me; in fact so many bands and albums inspire me. That’s why picking only five songs is a very difficult task in my opinion.
These particular songs that have made my top five have probably helped me through my toughest times. Some have given me hope, some have made me stronger, and some have shown some ugly truths, yet all have made a huge impact in some way or another.
1. Against All Odds by Phil Collins
This song popped into my life at a very early age. Phil Collins had always been one of my Mum’s favourite artists, and when she separated from my father, this was a song she listened to on repeat more than any other. Being no older than 5 or 6, I didn’t fully understand what was going on between them, but I remember this song and how it made her feel. I don’t know whether it gave her strength or gave her hope, or just brought her sadness, but I knew she related to it somehow. When my parents ended up getting back together, ‘Against all odds’ didn’t seem quite so impossible, and I guess from that point on it made me realise that not everything is set in stone.. And that’s a lesson I’ve taken with me throughout life.
2. What I Got by Sublime
Listening to this song in my teenage years helped me discover more about who I was as a person, and what I liked. Up until that point, I listened to what everyone else listened to, what I was told to listen to, what my friends liked. Sublime were my wake up call. THIS was the music I loved, the music I had passion for – Ska.. Rock.. Not generic pop tunes. It also taught me to listen to the lyrics and connect with the song more. What I Got is a perfect representation of how I feel about life – stuff doesn’t matter, money doesn’t matter, it’s all about love. Listening to this tune helps me remember my convictions and helps me get lost in the music, not a materialistic world. Life is too short after all.
3. Everything is Alright by Motion City Soundtrack
One of my favourite things about music is that every individual composition can mean different things to different people. Everything is Alright is one of those songs. It has a super catchy pop punk tune, so it’s very enjoyable to listen to, but for me, the beauty of this song lies with how I can relate to the lyrics. People can perceive lyrics in different ways, but when I hear this song, it makes me think about people overcoming issues and anxieties. Everybody has them, some more than others, and this song reminds me that the one person you need to convince that you are ‘alright’ is you. Some people interpret this song as a conversation with another person, but I think of it as a conversation with one’s self, and now I believe that the more you tell yourself you’re ok.. the more you truly are.
4. Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been by Relient K
This song was a turning point for me. I listen to Relient K a lot so have heard this song tonnes of times, but it wasn’t until I was going through a really bad time that I truly felt this song, and realised that the way I was feeling was affecting the people around me. I wasn’t particularly nasty to anyone, I didn’t take it out on anyone, but I didn’t let anybody in, I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling. People could see I was changing but didn’t know why, and were getting concerned, and anxious, and sad. Listening to this particular song opened my eyes a lot and basically pushed me to talk to the people I cared about, and the people who cared about me. I didn’t like the fact that my sadness was making others sad. So I did something about it.
5. Echo by Incubus
Echo is my favourite song of all time, so it felt appropriate to leave it for last. This song contains what I consider to be the most beautiful, relatable lyrics I’ve ever heard; ‘My biggest fear will be the rescue of me’. The words are so important to me that I literally had them written on my skin. They are a constant reminder that I shouldn’t be scared of anything. I know everyone fears something in this world, but you can’t let that fear consume you. I was initially drawn to this song after a messy break up. I felt like I would never be able to get close to anyone again for fear of rejection – for fear of being hurt. It sounds cliché, but when you’re living those feelings, nothing hurts more. This song honestly helped me move on. The more I listened to that one line, the more I believed it – that putting aside your fears could produce something more beautiful than you’ve ever seen. I now live that line. If I’m ever scared of anything, I listen to this song and it clears my head.